Have you ever lain awake at night grappling with a seemingly insoluble problem? Those of us who are parents or who have run our own business certainly have!
I am grappling with something right now and have been for months. I am grateful to this newspaper to be able to share my thought processes with my constituents, 80% of whom get the chance to read this column.
It is of course about our old friend Brexit. These are the strands of the argument that I am trying to reconcile:
1) As you know I voted to remain but believe (very strongly) we MUST deliver the decision of the people to leave the EU.
2) As you also know I supported the negotiated deal three times but sadly it did not get through the Commonslargely because of concerns (unwarranted in my view) regarding the Irish border backstop.
3) I am instinctively against a no-deal Brexit because there may well be some economic disruption that I wish to avoid if possible. The businesses in my constituency do not want a no-deal Brexit. A deal is better.
4) It is possible, although not altogether certain, that the Commons may well once again prevent a no-deal Brexit by passing legislation to that effect. Nobody seems quite sure whether it can or not!
5) If we do not leave the EU trust in our democracy will be fatally undermined AND (I am being very honest here) my party will be decimated at the next election opening the way for a Corbyn-led government. Potential disaster for our nation.
6) I am of the view that the Commons is unlikely to ever support the Withdrawal Agreement or agree a compromise between ourselves and Labour
7) I am firmly against a second referendum because (a) the people have already settled this matter and it will undermine trust in our democracy to ask them again and (b) it is unlikely to bring anything but further division and confusion.
So, how do we solve this seemingly insoluble problem? That is what I am grappling with. Throw into this the leadership contest in my own party and you have got a dog’s breakfast.But we have to leave.
If in October we are faced with a decision between a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum (which may or may not lead to no Brexit) which way should I vote? I take this responsibilityvery seriously. I am grappling.